Nearly 20 years after her death, Aaliyah continues to inspire generations of musicians and creatives.
On August 25, 2001, the R&B legend died in a plane crash, leaving friends, fans, and family shocked. She’d been in the Bahamas, filming the video to her Aaliyah single “Rock The Boat” when she boarded a twin-engine Cessna plane, piloted by a man (Luis Morales) who was not authorized to fly it. At the time of her death, Aaliyah was just 22 years old. She’d already had two platinum albums, two Grammy nominations, and several movies under her belt. She’d just released the aforementioned self-titled album — her third studio project — featuring hits like “Rock The Boat,” “I Care 4 U,” “We Need A Resolution,” and “More Than A Woman.” And, as mentioned, she’d been in the process of filming the accompanying visuals.
This week in 2002, months after she died, “More Than A Woman” topped the UK Singles Chart and it was her very first song to do so! “R&B singer Aaliyah has topped the British charts with a single released as a memorial after her death in a plane crash last summer. Aaliyah’s ‘More Than a Woman’ edged out ‘Addicted to Bass’ by Puretone to gain the No. 1 spot.” MRT.com reported January 14, 2002. “But the song’s reign was being challenged Tuesday by brisk sales for another posthumous single, George Harrison’s rereleased ‘My Sweet Lord.’ Before her death, Aaliyah’s previous best British chart position was No. 5 with ‘Try Again’ in July 2000.”
Below, check out the official video to the hit song. We’ve also included a clip of Aaliyah performing the track on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (her last performance before passing away). “More Than A Woman” would go on to be nominated by the Recording Academy for ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards in 2003. The award went to Mary J. Blige for her song “He Think I Don’t Know,” however.
Rest in peace, baby girl.